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Old 10th January 2017, 15:40   #1
Polarbear
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Default Inter rail validity on Eurostar

I've just come across this article on Seat 61.com which makes for very pleasant reading;

http://www.seat61.com/news.htm

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Eurostar now accepts InterRail & Eurail passes..!
Eurostar joined the InterRail & Eurail schemes as from 1 January 2017. Previously, they were only associate benefit providers, the benefit being a relatively expensive & pointless passholder fare over £90 that (1) was more expensive than regular fares if you booked well in advance and (2) was usually sold out at short notice so if you wanted one you had to book it well in advance - in which case I refer you back to point (1). The new passholder fares of €30 in standard & €38 in standard premier for 1st class passholders are great value, and I'm assured that they'll be widely available in advance and reasonably well available even o the day of travel, even if not on busy trains. And your pass only needs to be valid in the country where the Eurostar journey starts or ends, so even a Benelux InterRail pass would allow you to buy a London-Brussels Eurostar ticket for €30. This is a huge step forward, and I welcome it with open arms. For more details, see the Eurostar passholder information here.
Excellent news for me as I shelled out several hundred quid on E* returns last year, as well as a cheeky flight to Zurich! As long as the promised availability is maintained, this can only be a good thing.
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Old 10th January 2017, 23:00   #2
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That's a bit better!
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Old 11th January 2017, 14:35   #3
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Shame such a fare doesn't exist from elsewhere in the UK!

It is, however, extremely welcome news!
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Old 11th January 2017, 16:20   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
I've just come across this article on Seat 61.com which makes for very pleasant reading;

http://www.seat61.com/news.htm



Excellent news for me as I shelled out several hundred quid on E* returns last year, as well as a cheeky flight to Zurich! As long as the promised availability is maintained, this can only be a good thing.
Fantastic news many thanks for posting
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Old 11th January 2017, 17:31   #5
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Eurostar press release
New Eurostar fares for Interrailers
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Old 11th January 2017, 19:38   #6
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Yes, this is potentially very good but I'd like to see a few more details. I currently do this a couple of times a year with travelling dates usually constrained by when I can get decent Eurostar fares. Anything that can give me a bit more flexibility with dates and booking nearer the time of travel will be much welcomed.
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Old 12th January 2017, 04:33   #7
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I can only imagine this is a response to the price dumping of certain cross-channel airlines. Excellent news, might give it a go myself sometime
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Old 17th June 2017, 14:12   #8
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I thought I'd report on my experience with this. I decided to try it on a trip to Europe a few weeks ago. Firstly, you can't book it online via the Eurostar site though they hint that this will become available. Seat 61 gives a couple of online options but with it being new I decided to do it via Eurostar.

After 5 minutes on the 'phone I got fed up with being bombarded with Eurostar adverts and no indication of when I would get to speak to someone. Fortunately I'm in London so a trip to St Pancras was no problem. The booking person had to ask someone else but other than that the booking was quick and easy and I was able to select my seats. I wasn't charged a transaction fee - the Eurostar site says it's £10 - and I asked about this but was assured there wasn't one. Perhaps I got lucky. I asked about availability and was told that there's usually a decent quota but try and travel at less popular times - I was going midweek to midweek.

On the day, the ticket operated the barrier with no problem. The reservations are exchangeable but not refundable. They indicate that it's £10 to exchange. I'm paranoid about missing my connection on the return journey so have had waits of up to four hours at Brussels in the past. So, presumably I could factor this in and, if I arrive in Brussels so far in advance of my booking, change it for an earlier one, if available. Or I suppose that the worst that could happen is that if you miss your connection you can simply book on the first available train for the full booking fee (£26.50).

The big advantage is that you don't have to book ages in advance to get a decent fare. A disadvantage is that you need to have your Interrail ticket first so I booked it with a validity period such that I could travel a day or two earlier than I actually wanted to travel in case of non-availability on my chosen day. Also you don't get Eurostar points.

But it all worked fine and I'll probably do it this way next time. And I'd be interested i the experiences of others.

Last edited by Capybara; 17th June 2017 at 14:22.
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Old 17th June 2017, 16:48   #9
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I last used one of these passes in April from Lille to London & had no problems at all. To gain access to the train, I only needed to show my seat reservation.

E* do seem to be a bit slow at selling the inter rail passes on their website. Personally, I use Voyages SNCF as that'll readily sell the pass on line as a print at home ticket.
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Old 27th June 2017, 15:45   #10
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As for booking Eurostar reservations whenever I do Interrail Global, would I be able to find available seats on any trains on the day of travel if I arrive in London at 10-11 am? Otherwise how far in advance should I book for reasonable availability? And would I be able to book Interrail reservations for the Eurostar (and possibly the TGV if I end up in France) from my local station Manchester Piccadilly?
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Old 27th June 2017, 16:32   #11
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Unfortunately there are no UK stations (other than St Pancras) capable of booking what we used to call continental travel - that has been so for some years.

I wouldn't risk booking on the day travelling in anything like high season, unless you are happy to be extremely flexible.
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Old 27th June 2017, 17:53   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayman Ilham View Post
As for booking Eurostar reservations whenever I do Interrail Global, would I be able to find available seats on any trains on the day of travel if I arrive in London at 10-11 am? Otherwise how far in advance should I book for reasonable availability? And would I be able to book Interrail reservations for the Eurostar (and possibly the TGV if I end up in France) from my local station Manchester Piccadilly?
I agree with 30907. Book in advance through the Voyages SNCf website (both E* & TGV's). In theory, there should be availability on the day but you could end up sitting around at stations for a while.
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Old 27th June 2017, 18:29   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
I agree with 30907. Book in advance through the Voyages SNCf website (both E* & TGV's). In theory, there should be availability on the day but you could end up sitting around at stations for a while.
I guess I could use that website to book the outbound journey probably a week or so in advance and then book the inbound Eurostar (and TGV Lyon to Paris) journey from a station while in Europe like Frankfurt or Zurich - I should be able to do the rest of the travelling without reservations cos I'd mostly stick to countries like Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Switzerland where most trains don't need reservations!
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Old 28th June 2017, 08:07   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayman Ilham View Post
I guess I could use that website to book the outbound journey probably a week or so in advance and then book the inbound Eurostar (and TGV Lyon to Paris) journey from a station while in Europe like Frankfurt or Zurich - I should be able to do the rest of the travelling without reservations cos I'd mostly stick to countries like Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Switzerland where most trains don't need reservations!
If you have time, you can get around the need for a TGV reservation between Lyon & Paris. There is a 2 hourly TER service that operates between the two via the old PLM route & Dijon. It's loco hauled too, which is always a bonus.

As you say, you won't need reservations for the countries you've identified, (unless you use certain international services or say Thalys in Belgium/The Netherlands). If you have a smart phone with wi-fi access, you could I suppose book the E* reservation whilst you're out there.

Enjoy!
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Old 28th June 2017, 09:01   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
If you have time, you can get around the need for a TGV reservation between Lyon & Paris. There is a 2 hourly TER service that operates between the two via the old PLM route & Dijon. It's loco hauled too, which is always a bonus.

As you say, you won't need reservations for the countries you've identified, (unless you use certain international services or say Thalys in Belgium/The Netherlands). If you have a smart phone with wi-fi access, you could I suppose book the E* reservation whilst you're out there.

Enjoy!
If I do decide to fit France into the trip, I would be using a TER from Geneva to Lyon and I wanna ride the TGV between Lyon and Paris (it's faster and also, for the sake of riding a TGV) and as for going between Brussels and Amsterdam, I'd just hop on the hourly IC to Rotterdam, walk around that city and then take an IC direct to Amsterdam, probably much easier than the Thalys!
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